The Aftermath: Stranger At The Door

Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.

A 28-year-old home invader knocked on the door of a pregnant woman in Oklahoma City and whispered his name. When she opened the door to see who was there, the intruder forced his way in. She told him to leave but he continued inside. She called 911. He tried to stop her, and she shot him in the shoulder. She then told police to hurry because “he has a gun.” The assailant had wrestled the gun from her hand and left with it. Police arrested him two blocks away, bleeding from the shoulder. The gun was never found.

What training/preparation do you have to prevent yourself from being disarmed by an intruder?


I have heard at least three national level instructors say that only 1% of gun owners seek training beyond any legally mandated carry permit or license class. (Presumably they are all citing the same research, which I think came from Karl Rehn.)
I have had some gun retention training in a close quarters battle (CQB) class from Greg Ellifritz.
My uneducated guess is that among the 1% who get additional training, maybe 1% of those even learn about the existence of CQB or other available training like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu much less actually take a class.


I don’t open the door

Additionally, I have had some formal training in firearms retention, starting with the use of a close retention position (no Hollywood style hold the gun out in front and practically hand it to attacker on a silver platter stuff). Bladed stance, etc

But seriously, stop opening the door to strangers, people, especially woman home alone opening to a strange man


Agree with @Nathan57 Don’t open the door.

But for situations where I can’t keep an attacker at a distance I have been taking Krav Maga lessons and practice shooting from retention including some C.A.R. techniques.


We have worked, all be it just a little bit (15-20 hours total) on disarm, both take it from them and they take it from you. Again if you’re that close you are in terrible danger. Not surprisingly, many of the same CQ hand to hand rules apply:

  1. Get off the line (USCCA version Get off the X)
  2. Attack/Control the weapon, you can get back to attacking the person latter
  3. Go two on one (Both Hands) and Do Not Let Go
  4. Move, A Lot. Side to side, Do Not Retreat Straight Back (if space permits)
  5. Fight until your last breath, Do Not Stop

Or in my case, when the last vertebrae gives way! L4 and 5 already shot!


Right there with ya. Never same after they go


If you must open the door…

I’ve been saying this for years since I became a gun owner and learned situational awareness:

Metal screen door


4 back surgeries including L5-S1 fusion and L4 is destabilizing. I literally feel your pain guys.

Regarding the subject, one of the things I like about Simpli Safe is the camera. You can talk to the person outside and record it all if you wish. All of the videos are stored on line versus a storage device in the home.


If I cannot identify who is at my door I will not open it. My career in law enforcement has heightened my sense of awareness and during that time I received the training necessary to make me the individual that I am today.


I am literally feeling your pain at the moment @Scott52 and @Virgil_H

I have two herniated discs in my back and have been weightlifting as part of my heart rehab and to strengthen my back. It has been going really well all year but pushed it just a little too far today and popped things out of place. Then I stubbornly pushed through the rest of my workout. Figured it was practice for continuing the fight in a defensive situation:) But now I can barely move:(


Dude!?!? You Know, You Have To Listen To Your Body Brother.


When that muscle, the one in your back, says STOP, you have no choice!


I usually do a pretty good job of that. But I also need my body to remember that every once in awhile it may have to listen to me and keep on going even when it doesn’t want to.

It’s just reminding me right now that this wasn’t one of those times:/


Sorry to hear that sir. It is a tough balancing act between exercise and damage. I hope it lightens up for you soon. It really is awful.


FASTER has been the backbone of my training. They do cover a little bit of weapon retention. They also train to shoot the person trying to take the gun. However, someone else’s hand on the gun is likely to make it malfunction. So you get one shot before you have to clear that malfunction. (Enter the objections of the revolver guys who are less likely to deal with that. :grin:)


Hopefully that One Shot misses.

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I have training for in home defense. Firing my weapon is the absolute last resort. This is what my instructor helped me with. The same one that passed me for my CCW in IL. which is more demanding than most States.He suggested I install a doorbell system in my home. I chose the Ring system which I highly recommend.
I can monitor remotely or from anywhere in my home.
I can have a conversation with who is at the door.
I have a backup system on the side looking at the front of my house all the way to my porch and front door. If the person covers the Ring doorbell I can see him/her from the hidden one and hear and talk to him/her from microphone. I will announce that I have dialed 911 and I am armed. If he/she breaks in he/she will be shot. Last resort is discharging my weapon. All would be recorded.

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Hello and welcome @Jeffrey324

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I had over 20 years as an armed Security Officer, and was taught not only situational awareness, but weapon retention as well. I have been a USCCA member for several years.